Wedding: Budgeting

As previously stated, I’m pretty cheap. People being nice might call it frugal. I’m very careful with money, I guess because it represents safety and stability to me. So even though my parents are quite traditional and believe in a bride’s family paying for a wedding, I still have a lot of trouble parting with any money. That’s my dad’s retirement money!

We have found a venue that is an all in one catering, decorating, organizing, etc. It is less stressful to have a venue that takes care of all those things, but it’s also more money than picking out each element separately.

We’re saving money on everything else and I think we’re doing a pretty awesome job at it!

Some ideas:

  • We’re doing the wedding on a Sunday afternoon rather than the more popular Saturday evening
  • I got my dress online from India. You know what? Hindu brides are lucky. My gorgeous lengha was $540. With shipping. With stitching. Everything. Wedding dresses on Say Yes To The Dress start at $1,500 and I’ve seen them go up to $11,000 and even $25,000. Yikes. Plus, I can totally wear my lengha to other events. It’s not a one time use like a white wedding gown.
  • Utilizing the talents of friends

(There was supposed to be a video today, but I just moved to a new apartment and my computer is not entirely set up!)

It’s surprising how quickly expenses start to add up. Once you’ve made a few purchases in the thousands of dollar range, buying something for $200 feels downright cheap! The brain’s perspective changes very rapidly to that way of seeing things.

Really the best thing for the budget is the utilizing your friend’s talents. We have a friend officiating, a friend doing photography (she is a professional), a friend making the cake, a friend doing my mendhi, a friend doing my makeup, etc. Then look at people your friends know. We got a bagpiper who is a friend of Brad’s father, for example.

Tonight is the tasting at the caterers!

Shiva, my old friend
The Hindu Identity Crisis & The Mindy Project
Others From My Background Aren’t Hindu
Sringeri Week: Blessings From My Guru
About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • Sandesh

    Hey Ambaa,

    Best wishes for you once again :) As for my view, there is nothing wrong being frugal, it only helps never hurts as long as you trust your friends to do a good job :) ohh btw it’s best to involve friends and family the most, after all it’s a mangal parinay :P and everyone from friends and family should participate, it’s a big day for you both and your close ones.

    I would say (these are my views and I do not mean to debate) that you are not throwing a party… so getting your friends and family involved only means you cherish them being there and that they are a part of your life.

    No one would marry to throw a party :) so the thing that seeps down is that you are not cheap, instead I am sure your friends will be more than glad that they get a chance to participate in your marriage and it makes them feel that they matter to you.

    Have a blast!!


    • Ambaa

      Awwww, I like your perspective!


    @ Ambaa

    I am rolling on the floor laughing because of the first statement that you made before starting the article. :) This is sooo true in what most Indians do and are, that it applies to all the Indian no matter where they live. I don’t think you are only Hindu. You are a Hindu and an Indian inside as well. I don’t know what to say anymore because I am still laughing at what you said. All your traits are so Indian alike that I had to look at your profile picture again on top to see if it was an Indian writting this. On that note have a great time. :)


    BTW I know you will pick up best bargains for all your things, but I think going on a shopping journey to India for your wedding would be advisable in this case if you want to save tons of cash and get the best stuff. Take somebody you know and who know shopping part of India and those two tickect will be worth every penny and on top of that you will get a great journey out as well. Good luck with everything. :) Still laughing…….

    • Ambaa


  • Isa Blondell

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  • Cassie Jane Perdue

    i am so grateful that you have all these blog posts about hindu american wedding ceremonies!!! I am white-hindu also for the last 6 years and I was looking for subtle things i can add to my wedding. My man is not really into the eastern religions but if i find a way to blend them nicely he would be more willing to accept them.

    • Ambaa

      Excellent! I’m glad it helps :)